Illustration: protest in Jerusalem
Illustration: protest in JerusalemFlash 90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday authorized a law that would allow the government to return released terrorists to prison if they are involved in other security crimes, like kidnappings, after they were released. Such terrorists would remain in prison until the end of their terms, with no possibility of future release before their terms were up.

The law was proposed by MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The law will now be submitted to the Knesset for its first reading.

Elkin congratulated the Committee for its approval of the law, “and for informing the terror groups that kidnappings put terrorists in jails, and do not release them. This law allows to return released terrorists to prison as soon as they return to their corrupt ways or try to kidnap Israelis. This is a good first step in changing the rules of the game versus the terror groups, and I intend to submit this to the Knesset for legislation as soon as possible,” Elkin said.

The law was proposed in the wake of the kidnappings of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16). Although the three were found murdered last week, Israeli officials initially expected terror groups to use the youths as bargaining chips to demand the release of terrorists, as they had in the past after the kidnapping of IDF soldiers Gilad Shalit.

IDF Central Command head Nitzan Alon sent a sharp message to Hamas, saying their attempts to extort Israel into releasing terrorists by conducting kidnappings would only lead to the opposite results.

During its search for the three and for the perpetrators of the crimes, the IDF re-arrested 58 terrorists released in the Shalit deal. According to the deal, Israel agreed not to re-arrest the released terrorists if they did not engage in terror acts again, but in the wake of the kidnapping, and material or moral support the Shalit-deal terrorists provided the kidnappers, the state is seeking to keep them in prison.

"Of the terrorists freed in the Shalit deal who were arrested," explained MK Ayeled Shaked (Jewish Home), "a large part violated conditions of their pardon (for instance, going out of a specified area), and therefore their pardon will be annulled and they will go back to serving their full sentence. This is not just administrative detention, but turning back the wheels of the pardon.”

"Out of the Shalit deal, there are about 100 'heavy' terrorists who were released into the areas of Judea and Samaria. The IDF would do well to put its hands on all of them," the MK wrote.

A special military court has been convened to deal with the matter, the IDF spokesperson said. The army has already submitted 23 requests to cancel the conditions applying to Shalit deal terrorists on those arrested, and IDF attorneys are planning more requests.

MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) praised the arrest of the freed terrorists. "The arrest of the terrorists freed in the Shalit deal is the best response to the abduction of the boys," she said. "In this way, Israel makes clear to the abductors and their supporters that abducting Israelis will not lead to freeing of terrorists, but on the contrary – it will put many more terrorists in jail. Israel will not be a hostage to Palestinian terror."